This week, Forbes magazine ranked Nebraska No. 3 in its annual “Best States for Business” study. Forbes reports, “Nebraska is one of the biggest movers among the top states. It ranks third, up from No. 7 last year (its previous high-water mark was sixth in 2012 and 2013). The state’s climb in our ranking is due in part to the addition of two new factors in our regulatory score: fiscal health and legal climate.” The Forbes’ study considered 40 points of data to determine competitiveness over six main areas: business costs; labor supply and union influence; regulations and legal climate; economic climate; growth prospects; and quality of life. In the area of business costs — which includes labor, energy and taxes — Nebraska was ranked ninth, aided by the state’s business incentives.
Nebraska’s top scores were in the areas of regulatory environment (No. 3) and quality of life (No. 7). The Cornhusker State’s least competitive scores came in the categories of growth prospects (No. 30) and labor supply (No. 19). Utah is ranked No. 1 in Forbes’ comparison for the second straight year, followed by North Carolina, Nebraska, North Dakota and Colorado. West Virginia came in at No. 50 in the study, preceded by Mississippi and Maine.